I’ve been investigating “other” virtual worlds lately. Just curious. An explorer at heart, I guess. I’ve played in Second Life for five years and continue to do so. Recently, due to changes in RL, I had the occasion to rethink and refocus my virtual life. One decision was to pair down my SL landholdings. Another was to see what else is out there.
I already had active accounts in OSgrid and InWorldz and would go in and take a peek every few months. So I started my search for something new by revisiting these worlds. I didn’t notice a lot of change since my previous visits but that was okay. I had only default and freebie avatars to use but this time I decided to upgrade. OSgrid still has no currency so I didn’t think there would be a good way to do it there. So, for the first time, I bought some money in InWorldz and went shopping. I couldn’t get close to what my Second Life av looks like but I settled for a much better look than what I had.
I had followed the news of virtual worlds and grids with varying degrees of interest during the past few years. So I had tried a couple others in the past and heard the names of still more. Blue Mars was one I tried several times but each visit was a disappointment. I tried it again last month but I think that will be my last visit.
In October I joined Kitely and I recommend it highly. I started with a free account but rather quickly was won over and went to a paid account. For 7 USD a month, I own four contiguous regions with 100,000 prims to play with. Yes, seven dollars. I have a time limit there, they give me minutes as well as land. My plan has 30 hours a month. I’m not a builder so that is plenty for me, more than I need for exploring.
There’s no real economy in Kitely yet – there is currency but almost everything is freebies right now. (This is changing. They are in the process of creating a Marketplace.) So I’ll wait to improve the avatar until later. But exploring is easy – the key being, it is easy to find places to explore. This is not always the case with virtual worlds. As much as we complain about Search in SL, it is generally far worse in other worlds I’ve visited. But Kitely takes a different approach to it. You find the places to go via their website rather than inworld. It is easy to do and works well. Theoretically, you can do this on the website of some of the other worlds I’ve visited. Theoretically.
I also started an account in Avination recently. After exploring there for awhile, I decided to upgrade my avatar there just as I had done in InWorldz. I previously had exchanged some L$ for Avination’s C$, at a terminal in SL, to buy some clothes. I didn’t care for the exchange rate so this time I followed the regular Avination procedure and used Pay Pal to buy some money on their website. I figured 20 USD would cover the basics: skin, shape, hair, eyes and a second set of clothes and leave me with some left over.
When I did this in InWorldz, I went shopping first, made sure there was something worthy of purchase, then bought the cash. I wish I had done this in Avination. I bought twenty bucks worth of C$ and found nowhere to spend it. I did buy a new outfit but I could not find any skins worthy of purchase…unless I wanted to take a step backward. I visited stores that sold the same items I saw them selling four years ago in SL. Hopefully Avination makes it and someday I will be able to spend that cash. I won’t make that mistake of buying the money upfront again.
I was reviewing lists of active virtual worlds to see where else to go.
SpotOn3D was, well, spot on. A good experience. It is very small right now but it looks to be a place worth going back to. I met one of the owners upon arriving in the welcome area. She was very helpful and friendly and left me with a good impression and enough information to make me even more interested in exploring. I then started my explorations and found region-jumping very easy with use of the world map. The “community” of the place came through so while it’s small, I feel there is a there there.
I saw another world on the list called 3Dmee. Don’t know what caused me to try it but I did. Or rather, I tried to try it.
When you go to their website, you can’t just sign up, download and go inworld. You have to request an invitation. Then you wait a couple days to receive it. Days – not minutes, not hours! Once the invite arrives, you are given a webpage to go to – not to activate your account, but to see IF your so-called V.I.P. invitation has been activated.
I received my 3Dmee VIP invite on November 28. Today is December 14. I still get the message that: “your VIP Invite is valid but not yet activated. We have noted your interest and your position has moved up in the activation queue!” Well, whoopee! It’s great to be a VIP, let me tell ya.
3Dmee encourages you to check the webpage daily. I did. For the first four days. But I had other things to do, other worlds to explore. How interested can I be in a world that won’t let me in for days and tells me almost nothing about itself on its website?
The fact that I’m still waiting over two weeks later, raises the following questions:
Are they kidding me?
How long would I wait if I wasn’t a VIP?
Is there really a place called 3Dmee or is this a complete hoax?
Do I care anymore?
The only one of those questions I have the answer to is the last one…